DIY: How To Find Authoritative Twitter Users Plus 100 To Get You Started

There are a ton of Twitter sites aiming to attach a Twitter rank to a user profile, and frankly most of them are spotty at best. Follower count in my opinion is one of the worst metrics to go by with Twitter, and unfortunately that is a main cornerstone to many of the Twitter ranking systems out there.

Many of the Twitter grader tools pull in specific information that the API provides, and there is one major count that is not currently being passed through in an easily digestible format.

Favorites As An Indication Of Quality


Favorites is a way for users to bookmark tweets from their Followers. Twitter users who have had a large amount of people favorite their tweets can be a great indication of authoritativeness and quality.

I have attempted to create a DIY way to decide which twitter users in a given sector are beneficial to follow, engage etc. The following 4 steps will show you how to set this up on your own and allow you to target key influencers and twitter users likely to add to the conversation.

Step 1: Develop a Niche TwitterRoll


Start off with your favorite list of Twitterers. Whether you are looking to find new followers or simply looking to identify the top twitter users in your niche, pull together a list of folks you wish to analyze. These sites will give you a great place to start:

Don’t forget about Niche lists like these, there are tons of them that blog owners have created.

Step 2: Create an Excel File


The excel file should have a list of twitter names in one column, the # of favorites according to the Google operator query I am about to show you, the number of tweets that user has sent to date, and finally a column for the actual Twitter Authority score.

Step 3: Identify the Favourites # and Tweetage Amount


Go to Google search and use this query:*/favourites USERID

Replace USERID with the twitterers name you want to assess. The number of results that is returned is your benchmark score to use. Take this number and plug it into your excel file.

Next, visit the users twitter page and record the number of tweets they have made to date.

Step 4: Calculate The Score

Once you have all your data, calculate your scores. The calculation to determine the authority score is simply Tweetage Column divided by Google Favorites. The closer the number is to 0 the more authoritative that user will potentially be.

100 Influential Marketers on Twitter

Twitter list via Twitter Power 150

Now a few caveats about the calculation. Google’s result set often lists more results than just people who have favorited your tweets. Furthermore, if the person’s twitter name is a common phrase that people use in their tweets, then you will not get an accurate representation, as the Google data set looks for that word anywhere on the page. All that being said, this Favorite Twitter Score is still one of the most accurate indications of authoritativeness and quality I’ve discovered.

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  • Jason Keath
    Posted at 20:03h, 30 April

    Pretty cool experiment – I have a constructive comment/question

    Wouldn’t the person’s followers be a better number to judge their “authority rank” with rather than their number of tweets? Seems like the current equation really is a percentage of how often their tweets are liked by others, more of a Tweet Quality index.

    The Google search number itself might even hold a pure authority number, since there is great power in the size of an audience.

    That being set, pretty creative approach. I dig it.

  • BrianChappell
    Posted at 20:12h, 30 April


    Great question – my thinking is just that, quality tweets = authoritative tweeter. I feel like # of followers is a very arbitrary # that can be inflated easily and does not hold much weight.

    Like you said, # of tweets is a indicator in the equation simply b/c people who are loud and tweet a lot are obv. much more likely to have “favorited” tweets.

  • Chris Prakoso
    Posted at 00:38h, 01 May

    Brian, that Google Query is Awesome! It’s a real Gem. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    And yes, Quality Tweet (that is favored by others) could be use as one measurement of authority. One problem though, the result that Google produce, they are not exactly what we want, aren’t they? Because among those result, there are also ReTweet or a mention by somebody else (like in #FollowFriday list).
    So it’s not exactly an accurate measurement for authority, is it ? But it’s very close. I wonder if we could filter the result.

  • BrianChappell
    Posted at 13:33h, 01 May


    You are exactly right. It is a rough indicator, and when used as a benchmark serves pretty well. The Google result set can get a bit noisy, especially if the username is a common phrase people actually use.

    For example if a users name is @coke the calculation simply wont work, you will have to count through actual favorites. Another thing that I tried to explain in the post is that Twitter API doesn’t return a “count” for favorites, its simply the 20 latest. That is the main reason imo you don’t see this in the tools people have built like TwitterGrader and others.

  • Jim Tobin Ignite Social Media
    Posted at 13:34h, 01 May

    Just calculated mine: It’s 28.39.

    Totally punking you Brian, with your 30+. Ha! <>

  • Pano Kondoyiannis
    Posted at 18:28h, 11 October

    Thanks for sharing it with us

  • Pano Kondoyiannis
    Posted at 18:28h, 11 October

    Thanks for sharing it with us

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